The session began with a wandering monster roll, resulting in 3d6 gnolls and a pack lord making their way down the ravine towards the party. Two new adventurers were ahead of the pack lord and trapped with the rest of the party by the pack of 14 gnolls and their huge leader. The beast men built a bonfire in the middle of the ravine and started dancing around it and howling.
Gnome ( a 3e gnome cleric) and Big Meat (a half-dwarf/half-giant fighter using 5e pregen) met up with John Doe human wizard (who after tonight shall ever be remembered as dog-strangler) and the pair of hobbit thieves, Zooby Zoo and the Scott. These three were inhabiting the recently degoblinized tunnels. Gnome and Big meat rushed up into the cave mouth to report a warband of gnolls had trapped them in the ravine, and to say hi.
After a short discussion it was decided that they would not go deeper into the goblin caves, whence stared knee-high eyes at the edge of darkness, until the warband had been dealt with. John Doe the wizard attempted to decipher the gnoll’s elaborate howlig ritual, an as he listened he crept closer and closer to the edge of the cave mouth, which was above the floor of the ravine. WHen an answering howl came from further up the ravine, he was so startled he fell ot of the cave ad slid down he side of the ravine, to land prone at the valley floor.
All movement and howling around the bonfire stopped as the gnplls turned as one. They were surprised, but the wizard couldnt tell if it was becasue of his cave exit, or the answering howl. Nonetheless, Big Meat took the surprised moment to launch a crossbow bolt into the neck of one of the gnolls, killing him instantly (9 hp) The gnome cleric finds a spot way back in the cave where she can watch their backs ad still see the cave entrance, allowing her to cast a Radiant Lance.
The hobbits launch sling stones, whereupon the wizard stands up, brushes himself off, and casts Sleep. 5 of the gnolls drop, and the rest are slowed to half movement. Big Meat charges the leader of the beast men, hitting him a powerful blow that cuts through his scavenged chest plate, but barely scratches him. In retaliation, the pack lord starts howling, as he spins his flail above his head, which starts smoking as thew pack lords eyes glow red. The mighty blow knocks half of Big Meats hit points away.
Two more gnolls drop from sneak attack sling stones from the cave mouths as the gnolls divide and charge at their slowed pace, 4 heading toward the nearst cave mouth, while the other 2 head for the wizard. Pack Lord and Big Meat trade another set of blows, and the dark skinned warrior is reduced to 3 HP. He performs a reverse charge back to the cave mouth and away from the pack lord, who is not even bloodied after taking 30 hp damage from Big Meat.
Two gnolls run in their sleep-slowed state toward the waizard. Instead of doing the rational thing an casting Expeditious Retreat the wizard instead charged towards the nearest gnoll, hand outstretched to grab the gnoll around the neck. His strangling hand flared with lightning and the gnolls mangy fur was burned to a crisp, leaving a stinking cooked hot dog in his grasp. He moved onto the next, which suffered the same fate. Was this a first level wizard or Ironman? Still not sure.
The gnolls heading towards the cave covered by the hobbits and cleric were cut down by sling stones and radiant lances, except for one who stumbled into the cave directly between Zooby Zoo and Gnome the gnome. He managed to hit the gnome for a small amount of damage, which still brought her within inches of her young life. She was saved by Zooby zoo who took the gnoll out from behind with you guessed it, a close range sling bullet to the back of the head. Gnome then rushed forward to save Big Meat who was being chased toward the cave mouth by he pack lord. She saw he couldn’t be bothered to take an action to swallow a potion, so the gnome literally smashed her uncorked potion into the warriors mouth.
It worked, and after 2 more sling stones and a radiant lance, the pack lord finally fell to a final chop of Big Meat’s huge axe. They didn’t even have time to loot the corpses, we were out of time, but it was a fun game, and a hilariously engaging night of hacking and slashing. The combat rules, while they have some definite rough edges, are fun, quick, usually bear some resemblance to imagined fantasy reality (or verisimilitude) and so far, after two sessions, we are having a blast. I am stragnely reminded of a red box basic game with character somewhere betweeen 3e-4e, but better.
Oh, we need wandering monster rules.